So I can FINALLY tell you that I’m up in Canada this week, a trip that’s been months in the making. My family has a cottage on Lake Erie about an hour north of Buffalo, NY, and every year some portion of us makes the trip for a week or two to enjoy the beach life. The Squab family hasn’t been for the last couple of years, because I don’t know if you know this but toddlers and babies are CRAP travelling companions, but this year Mr. Squab decided it would be fun to surprise my mom by showing up even though she thought we couldn’t make it. So we rented a whole ‘nother cottage (that way we can have a baby-friendly shut-up-at-8pm kind of space and an adult-friendly stay-up-and-drink-and-play-cards kind of space), and rented a van, and loaded it up, and drove out the entire 18 hour trip. With a four-year-old and a one-year-old. I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little out of my mind anxious about it. We took the trip in two days, driving a whopping 13 hours (thanks, rush hour in Chicago) the first day, and a jaunty 5 1/2 hours the second, and I have to say, the kids were total troupers about the whole thing. And it was really, really fun to see the look on Mom’s face when we showed up. It’s a fine line between overwhelmingly surprised and coronary arrest, but we walked it and everyone is good. We’re now ensconsed in our rental cottage with an AMAZING lake view, and the kids have been having the time of their lives playing on the beach. We have absolutely no internet access, so I’m posting this from the public library in town, but I’ll post some pix if I get a chance. Anyway, for all of you whose playdate invitations I’ve ignored, or who’ve moved into new housing with no help and/or housewarming gifts from me, etc, etc, this is why and I’m very sorry. Mom is on Facebook and reads this blog and all so I had to keep it a secret. Right – gotta go hit the beach!
This last weekend, we’re all sitting in the girls’ room getting dressed in the morning, and the girls are doing their usual early-morning goofy thing making faces and noises at each other and laughing at the results. It’s pretty awesome, and at one point the Hatchling looks over at me, mid-laugh, and says, “That Sylvia is pretty damn funny!”
“WHAT did you just say?” I ask, unsuccessfully suppressing my giggles.
“That Sylvia is pretty damn funny, Mama!” responded the Hatchling, totally unaware that she might be saying anything at all inappropriate.
We decided just to ignore it. You know: Parenting for Cowards. And really – she IS pretty damn funny.
So I was all set this morning to post something a little cheerier and, uh, less purgative (HA!) than the previous post, since all of us seemed to be well on the road to recovery after our hellish session with the zombie death flu. Mr. Squab went off to work and I was just going to take the girls for a quick check at the doctor’s office to make sure there were no major secondary infections (both girls had been pretty stuffy with a nagging cough).
Turns out the Hatchling has an ear infection in her right ear.
The Sprout has a double ear infection.
And to top it off, while we were over at a friend’s house for lunch trying to ignore said ear infections and enjoying the amazing weather in her backyard, the Sprout barfed – repeatedly – all over the patio. So when we thought that she had gotten off with a lighter version of the bug? Yeah, not so much.
The kicker is that while the Sprout was puking on herself, me and the patio furniture, my first reaction was not, Christ, here we go again or Oh, poor baby, or even Why does the universe hate us? but rather Hey! we’re outside where we can just hose everything down! Maybe our luck is finally turning!
Y’all: when your eight-month-old ralphing on your friend’s cobblestone pavers is the best thing that’s happened to you in a week, you know you have seriously hit rock bottom. We are officially at the point of absurdity. Anything else is just grist for the mill.
Oof. It has been quite the week around here. Nothing terribly traumatic, but let’s just say the Hatchling has begun to embrace her three-ness with a vengeance. Highlights have included a massive poop-on-the-sofa incident and the spilling of an entire glass of iced tea all over the keyboard of my laptop. (which, incidentally, appears to be relatively unharmed except for how I can’t type a capital w. I love Macs!) Anyway, around about the time I was obsessively scouring the couch upholstery and wondering just which part of my graduate education prepared me for cleaning up shit, I thought maybe it would be appropriate to acknowledge some of the many, many incredible things my mothers have done for me. Here’s an abbreviated list:
- read out loud to me incessantly
- enthusiastically responded to all my accomplishments, major and minor
- sewed everything from my Halloween costumes to curtains for my house to my wedding dress and all my bridesmaids dresses
- professionally edited my school papers whenever requested
- provided on-call medical advice and the occasional pharmaceuticals when needed
- sat with me and held me as I labored with my first child
- asked about my dissertation
- didn’t ask about my dissertation
- taught me how to cook and bake
- faithfully attended all my performances, and sent me flowers for every opening night
- made a welcoming home-base to return to from my travels
- took me on amazing trips to Europe
- spoiled your grandbabies rotten
- and most of all, taught me the meaning of unconditional love
I can only hope to do so many things for my girls. Happy Mother’s Day!
Today, I was changing the Sprout’s diaper and the Hatchling came up behind me to watch.
“Oh. POOOOP,” she observed knowledgeably.
“Yep, I’m changing the baby’s diaper. Gotta get that poop off her butt.”
The Hatchling patted me on the back approvingly, and then asked, “Scwatchy back?”
“Sure!” I said, “I love having my back scratched.”
A brief but pleasurable back scratching occurred; then the Hatchling noticed the Sprout’s old diaper, wrapped up and sitting on the arm of the sofa.
“Oh! I take-a diaper, frow in garbage,” she said helpfully, and proceeded to do just that.
“Thank you, honey!” I said, “that was very, very helpful!”
“OK,” the Hatchling said. You know, like: no big deal, mom.
Those big-sister instincts are definitely kicking in.
Item one – Conversation between me and the Hatchling this afternoon, as she’s running around with her superhero “cape” on (a big silk scarf she ties around her neck):
Hatchling: I superhewwo!
Me: You are a superhero.
Hatchling: Fwy weawwy fast.
Me: You sure are flying fast. Go, go, go!
Hatchling (stopping and looking right at me): I BATMAN.
Me: You’re Batman?!
Hatchling: Yeah, dat’s wight. I BATMAN!!!!
Her father is so proud.
Item Two – I’ve been scanning in some old family photos just so I have them digitally, and I came across this one of me and my parents circa 1972. I’m not normally at a loss for words, but … wow. Kind of explains a lot, doesn’t it?
Should I be concerned that my almost-three-year-old chooses more heavyweight reading material than I do?